Why Does God Allow Suffering?

A Very Old Question

This is a very old question – possibly as old as man himself. This question has been confronted in the Book of Job, in the psalms such as Psalm 73, and in several other Biblical passages. This has also been a great topic of discussion in philosophy and literature. It is not the purpose of this article to answer all possible questions, nor to create a synopsis of what has already been written.

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What More Do You Want?

Ungratefulness

One of the many frustrating things in life is ungrateful people. Not simply people who are rude, but those who, although you may have sacrificed your time, money, or attention to help them, do not seem to be appreciative or thankful in any way. Although the measure of our demonstration of love for our neighbor should never be based upon how they choose to react, it can be frustrating when someone we help or give a gift to is completely ungrateful.

The Fear of the Lord

A Biblical Expression

In the Bible the expression “fear of the Lord” is used quite often. For instance, in the Proverbs this fear is called “the beginning of knowledge” (1:7, NASU). In describes the particular attitude of a people, such as Abraham’s description of the people of Gerar: “there is no fear of God in this place” (Gen. 19:11). It also describes obedience and choosing to serve God, such as Job when Satan asked, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” (Job 1:9).

In the Likeness of God

Creation of Man

In Genesis 1:27 Moses states that “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (NASU). This unique quality of being in the very “likeness” or “image” of God is reserved for man alone, implying that there is more to existence than the mere animation of life.

God and "What If?"

An Exercise

It can sometimes be an interesting exercise to ask the “What if?” questions about stories in the Bible. While this practice is not instructive in itself, it can highlight the choices made by those in Bible stories by considering the implication of the alternative.